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Emma Lawrenson won the Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize at the 2015 New Light Prize Exhibition for Stone Pen. .
We asked Emma to tell us about her art and how it felt for her work to be recognised in this way.
How long have you been a practising artist?
I completed my MA in printmaking back in 1998; however I didn’t start working professionally as an artist until 2010.
How did you first hear about New Light?
I receive all of the newsletters from Parker Harris and I saw the announcement on there.
What made you decide to enter the Prize Exhibition?
I decided to enter the New Light Exhibition due to the fact that it was for Northern artists only. Being able to show work in the beautiful Bowes Museum, Mercer Art Gallery, and Panter and Hall Gallery made it very enticing! Usually all other competitions are based in London so it made a nice change.
What has winning the Zillah Bell Printmakers’ Prize meant to you?
I was pretty shocked to win the printmakers’ award as the standard of work was incredibly high. I enjoyed talking to Norman Ackroyd RA CBE about my work on the night of the prize-giving, he was very complimentary which was a great confidence boost.
I haven’t had any feedback about my work since I was studying at the Royal College of Art back in the nineties, and for me, this made the exhibition.
Being offered the solo exhibition at The Zillah Bell Gallery was a fantastic opportunity to show my work to a different audience. They have a fantastic reputation and catalogue of great artists showing there.
What are your artistic plans for the future?
I’m nearing the end of a barn conversion into a printmaking studio. I’ve been saving money little by little and doing it over almost five years! I’ve bought a larger screen printing table than the one I currently use so I’m excited to be able to begin making work on a larger scale.
If you had to recommend one place in the North for someone to visit, where would it be?
I’m extremely lucky to live only ten minutes from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which is one of my favourite places and hugely inspiring.
If you could take one piece of artwork to a desert island, what would it be?
That’s tough. I’d love something by Ellsworth Kelly, something big and bold.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I think that New Light is a thrilling opportunity to showcase Northern Art in the north. So many times we have to ship elsewhere and it’s wonderful to exhibit at home.
We’ll be taking Emma’s work to Printfest in Ulverston from 29th-30th April 2017. She will also shortly be joining the St Jude’s printmakers with work available to buy through their online gallery.